Simplifying with kids

A few weekends ago, I decided it was time to pair down some of JP's toys.
We do not buy him that many toys as experience as shown me that we would buy them mostly for ourselves but still, there are always toys coming inside the house, courtesy of the grandparents or friends, and they easily add up.

We don't have a playroom, his toys are scattered through the house: in his bedroom, the living room, the office and the kitchen, roughly contained in baskets or boxes. This may sound silly, and I certainly understand the appeal of confining the toys in one room, but it's what makes sense to our family as we try to integrate play into our home and into our lives and spend time together.

It also makes it easier for me to see what toys he plays the most, and I was noticing there were a lot of untouched toys for a while, so I told him we would go through his toys and choose some to pass  on to other kids.
I've briefly  considered doing this without him, worried that it would take forever with lame results but it felt wrong, so and I decided to at least try and see how it would go.

Well, the kid is a tidying pro. I followed kondo's advice of making him touch the toys and he had a great pleasure to hold all his plush toys. In the end, he decided to give them ALL. He was so keen to let go of most of his toys, that I myself was feeling a little scared he was not fully aware of what was happening and started to question him a lot about his choices. The most common answer was: "I don´t play with it anymore" but there were some other valuable arguments mentioned:

On playing tools, which he has two sets (wooden/plastic):
 - I don't need two of each and these (from the wooden set)  will last longer I think. Let us keep this one.

On playing sword:
I don't need this (you won't play pirates anymore?) Of course I will, but a have lots of swords outside! (please read sticks that serve like swords...)

On car with a broken wheel:
- I like the car but it doesn't work anymore... if daddy can't fix them I think we can put it in the garbage.

He felt very strongly about toys to keep (lego, train track, cars, puzzles, piano, animal masks, art supplies) and resolved his doubts in a lovely way:

Play kitchen
- I don't play with it anymore, but it holds toys and S (daughter of friends who visits us at times) loves to play with it when she comes, so I guess it's better to keep it here for now.

Plain / M&M's chocolate dispenser:
- I'll keep this one because I'm hoping it will grow M&M again...


  1. I loved reading his decision making processes! He has a lot of common sense and wisdom. Lovely to have that lack of fear about letting things go. And sticks that serve as swords - the same the world over! I'm wondering too... will the chocolate dispenser grow M&M's again? :-)

    1. There will definitely be some M&M growing in the future :-) they will not be as sweet as he was saying that!

  2. A wonderful post Christiana. It is true that children have so much stuff and it can be so difficult to stop it coming in. I must admit that I do it behind the children's back a lot of the time these days, but maybe I should try doing it with them?

    1. You might be pleasantly surprised too, who knows?

  3. Delightful post, delightful child (delightful/delighted Mum). How observant you are.

    1. I couldn't be a more delighted mum (it shows, right?). Kids minds are wonderful, I find it so rewarding to pay attention to them.

  4. Na verdade não estou a conseguir comentar o teu post mais recente (não quero dizer o último...).
    Tens toda a razão, querida Cristiana: eu adoro os posts sobre o teu filho. Que miúdo incrível!
    Apesar de nem sempre parecer, gosto muito deste teu cantinho, mas percebo bem o que é precisar de uma pausa, maior ou menor. E a importância da motivação.
    Seja qual for o teu caminho, sê feliz.
    Gostava de voltar a encontrar-te por aqui e, um dia, ao vivo e a cores!

    1. Obrigada pelo carinho, Ema.
      Também gostava muito de te conhecer pessoalmente! Eu vou ao Porto amiúde, quase sempre a correr e com uma agenda de afazeres mais preenchida do que eu gostaria... mas estou certa de que mais tarde ou mais cedo há-de haver uma ocasião para nos conhecer-mos. (Por acaso vou à casa da música no próximo dia 29, mas em principio só vou à noite...)